Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yeagerfest 2011!

Amidst the flying monkeys, tossed horseshoes and swung-at-piƱatas, music filled the air at Mark Yeager's 50th birthday bash last Saturday at Stardust Farm, Chapin, SC. Hosted by my very own bosses, Stan and Julie Wetherell, this event lasted from 4 in the afternoon until the early morning hour of 5 am, where we danced around a pool table to songs that only sunrises would accept...or a few keg stands.

Among the LIVE music of the evening, Danielle Howle, local favorite and brilliant story-teller, headlined the Woodstock-esque event (complete with tents and a dirt bike), supported by one of Mark's friends' group and myself. The honor was all mine to help ring in the second part of Mark's journey of life, paying tribute to his generation with cover songs by Jethro Tull, Pure Prairie League and Little Feat (all crowd pleasers/sing-along-opportunities) Of course, I tickled the air with some of my staple songs such as Horizons, City Lights, Kaleidoscope and Bicycle on the Ice (dedicated to my new friend Sam who happens to be a cyclist) but I also played first-time-ever-performed songs that I began writing for my forthcoming EP entitled Routes (you will hear about this in a couple of months). The show was a great success, all the artists aimed to please as well as sing their hearts out for Mark, his friends and family. My set ended with a tweaked cover of Alice Cooper's "I'm 18", where I invited Mark up to listen close to my "I'm 50!" rendition. He was a bit confused but caught on by the time "I've got a dementia brain and a bi-passed heart" verse came along! haha The only stumble of the entire night was during a random argument between two drunken lovers at 5:30 in the morning. No matter, this incident was completely forgotten when we all sat down to a breakfast of Kahlua induced coffee, shrimp and grits and some amazing eggs cooked up by one of the over-nighters.

Great country fun, amazing support and a much needed back-on-the-stage experience. I thank Mark and his wife Lisa for inviting me to be a part of the celebration. Sure wish I caught some of that high-gravity beer in that sweet-ass growler, however! Oh well, next time!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Benefit Concert in Reading, England...

...and I'm playing at it!

Not sure I had mentioned this in a previous post (probably not as I haven't been very good at updating this blog lately), but I am traveling to England in a little under three weeks to meet up with Judy Buy and her family to play a benefit gig for Amyloidosis that she is hosting. It's a great opportunity that sparked interest many months ago over a Facebook conversation with Judy after she had learned of my song "Hello, Amy" and my connection with the disease and the foundations over here. After a few exchanges involving our then fantasy of my oversea journey, I turned to Mary O'Donnell at The Amyloidosis Foundation, my friend and contact for fundraising efforts and longtime supporter of The May Fund and my creative endeavors. She took it upon herself to gather up some resources and ultimately give me the go-ahead to make the trip to England to not only support Judy and her cause, but represent Amyloidosis on this side of the pond. It's a FANTASTIC opportunity, one that I jumped on immediately upon receiving the financial support from Mary and the anonymous donors that helped with the expenses (Thank you, whoever you are..).

I cannot wait to meet Judy, her family and friends and share my music with Reading, England. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and video of the trip. More to come!!